Tanner Laczynski

Flyers sign prospect Tanner Laczynski to entry-level contract; Wade Allison next?

Flyers sign prospect Tanner Laczynski to entry-level contract; Wade Allison next?

Like every season, the Flyers will want to become deeper in 2020-21.

Tanner Laczynski is ready to be in the depth picture after the Flyers signed the prospect to his two-year entry-level contract Monday.

Laczynski, a center who turns 23 years old in June, finished an impressive collegiate career at Ohio State. In four years with the Buckeyes, Laczynski was over a point-per-game player, putting up 48 goals and 95 assists in 138 contests. As a senior this season, the 2016 sixth-round draft pick had 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) through 36 games and finished tied for fourth in the country with 20 primary helpers.

“Tanner has completed an excellent college career at Ohio State University and we are very excited to have him under contract,” Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said in a statement released by the team. “He plays a mature two-way game, he’s a proven leader and we see him as a versatile forward for the Flyers organization going forward.”

Laczynski brings an impressive shot, good instincts and a pro build at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds. While Laczynski is likely to open 2020-21 with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, he'll be in the conversation to join the Flyers at some point next season because of his seasoned makeup and versatile game. He is well-groomed and works hard.

People might see him play games, I get to see him practice every day," Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik said in a May phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "That's the biggest piece that people don't get to see is what he brings every day in practice, how hard he practices, how hard he's focused on becoming a better player every day. Those are the things that I think separate him from a lot of guys and I think that's what's going to help him continue to develop, that's what's going to help him at the next level. Just his attitude toward showing up every day and being the best he can be.

The Flyers have another college player to sign in Wade Allison, whose rights expire Aug. 15. The Western Michigan product has battled injuries throughout his four years with the Broncos but the 2016 second-round draft pick has strong size (6-2/205) and scoring potential along the wing.

The rights to prospects Linus Hogberg and David Bernhardt, two Swedish blueliners in the Flyers' system, expire June 1.

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Future Flyers Report: Morgan Frost is starting to heat up, German Rubtsov hot on his tail

Future Flyers Report: Morgan Frost is starting to heat up, German Rubtsov hot on his tail

It’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

• At the start of the season, Morgan Frost went through a three-game stretch without tallying a single point, though he did have his fair share of chances. It was only a matter of time before things started clicking. 

Friday night, just past the midway point of the first period, Frost tied things up for the Phantoms when they took on the Charlotte Checkers. This goal is only a taste of what the young center can do. 

He is currently on a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists) and it doesn’t look like things are slowing down anytime soon. This point streak ties him for the longest point streak of the season for the Phantoms. 

• It seems like German Rubtsov picked up right where he left off after an injury just 14 games into last season cut his year short. Just seven games into the 2019-20 season, Rubtsov is making his presence known. 

He currently has six points (two goals, four assists). That ties him for first in points alongside Frost. 

If Rubtsov can remain healthy for a full season, he’ll become a vital asset to the Phantoms’ success down the road. 

Quick hits

• Wade Allison recently sustained an upper-body injury. He did not play in either game this weekend for the Western Michigan Broncos. 

• Cam York was back in the lineup after missing three straight games because of a lower-body injury. He earned his first NCAA point with a secondary assist Friday night. In total, he had three assists on the weekend. 

• Tanner Laczynski had a goal and two assists for Ohio State Friday night. 

• Wyatte Wylie had himself a two-point night on Friday in Everett (one goal, one assist) to help his team to a 3-2 victory. 

• Mason Millman collected three points (two goals, one assist) with the Saginaw Spirit — one of them being the game-winning goal Sunday against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. 

• Egor Zamula had a two-assist game Sunday with the Calgary Hitmen as the team picked up a 5-4 overtime victory against the Regina Pats in the Prairie Classic. 

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Tanner Laczynski, a Flyers prospect growing into a pro at Ohio State

ap_tanner_laczynski.jpg
AP Images/Al Goldis

Tanner Laczynski, a Flyers prospect growing into a pro at Ohio State

When many think of forwards in the Flyers' pipeline, names like Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee and Isaac Ratcliffe come to mind.

Here's a name that should be on everyone's radar for 2019-20: Tanner Laczynski.

Why?

Because the 21-year-old center isn't all that far away. His game oozes with pro readiness, from his size (6-1/193) to his shot and, most notably, his preparation.

College has done him well.

And at Ohio State, a big senior season awaits Laczynski, one filled with motivating factors and a potential run at the Hobey Baker Memorial Award (top college player).

Forget that sixth-round label; he'll be a guy to watch among all Flyers prospects.

"The biggest thing for Tanner is he trains like a pro," Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik said Monday in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "He's our hardest worker every day in practice, he's not easy to practice against, he competes at a very high level all the time. 

"That's what's a major factor in him continuing to develop. And he takes advantage of the resources — our strength and conditioning, nutrition, off ice, on ice with the coaches, individual skill sessions, all those kind of things. I think that's one of Tanner's benefits is that he takes advantage of all those areas and that's why you see him continue to succeed and continue to get better."

Laczynski, a 2016 sixth-round selection of the Flyers, enjoyed a standout sophomore season in which he scored 47 points (17 goals, 30 assists) in 41 games, was named a Second Team West All-American and helped lead the Buckeyes to the Frozen Four.

The encore wasn't as special.

As a junior, Laczynski missed nine games because of injuries, including a key six-game stretch through February.

"When he came back, he certainly wasn't at 100 percent as far as where his game was," Rohlik said. "But it didn't take him long to get back into that."

He put up 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 27 games and Ohio State was upset in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals before being shut out in its opening game of the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes lost their final three games, with Laczynski going scoreless over the last two.

Not the way he wanted to go out, so it's back to school for one more go-around.

For a guy like Laczynski, why not? The Flyers have until Aug. 15, 2020, to ink Laczynski to an entry-level contract before losing his rights. His game has steadily progressed into pro caliber and another year of Division I hockey will only help. Rohlik said Laczynski will play "in a lot of situations where he can continue to improve" while handling the puck "as much as anybody." 

"He wants to come back and try to finish some unfinished business and those are all goals — get a degree, get better as a hockey player, develop, become a better person and try to win your last game," Rohlik said. "I think all those things fill his bucket."

Given how far Laczynski has come since 2016, Flyers player development coach John Riley won't mind taking a few more trips to Columbus, Ohio.

"He's been at a lot of our games, a lot of communication, what they see, what we see, continued areas that we all want to see him develop," Rohlik said of Riley, Ohio State's go-to contact with the Flyers. "They've done a great job of communicating with me, liking what they see, feedback — good or bad."

The Buckeyes recruited Laczynski back to his midget hockey days in 2013 with the Chicago Mission.

"Just a big, strong kid, had great hand-eye coordination and certainly was a big factor at every level he played in," Rohlik said.

The pro level will be next after four years of college, time well spent by Laczynski.

"Strength-wise, that's not going to be an issue. Work ethic's not going to be an issue," Rohlik said. "But I know there are parts of his game that he wants to continue to get better. He shoots the puck like a pro, but he's got to learn to shoot more. … Smaller areas, working on those first few steps, all the little things that are going to continue to help him get better.

"He's going to do whatever it takes to be the best player he can for the Flyers. That has been his main goal here at Ohio State, that he's going to take advantage of every resource he can here because his dream is to play at that level. … I just think he's going to come in there and try to prove himself and try to be an everyday player for them at some point."

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